Tag Archive: violence


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

(January 15 1929 – April 4 1968)

1.

You had a dream, of pastures of peace,

where children of all hues mingle like rainbows.

2.

They silenced you, yet your dream
resounds louder still,

in pastures not yet of peace,

where children of all hues mingle like rainbows.

3.

You said that you had been to the mountain top,

they tried to strangle your voice as you saw the promised land,

those pastures of peace,

where children of all hues mingle like rainbows.

4.

Today your dream is glimpsed in pastures,

not yet of peace,

for though they tried to silence your voice,

your spirit in our collective hearts does rejoice.

5.

Your spirit, your dream,

mingles in the winds of all those pastures,

over the valleys, in the oceans, across the mountains,

in every flowing stream.

6.

Today, your dream lives in the wind,

seeding the prairies, the steppes, the savannahs, the pampas,

pastures of peace,

where children of all hues mingle like rainbows.

7.

We remember you today,

with a shared pledge to nourish those pastures of peace,

in each of us,

where your dream may thrive,

blossoming into our shared dream,

bounteous, and alive.

8.

Your dream realised shall then seem,

where children of all hues mingle like rainbows,

when we give life to the promise of the radiance of your beautiful dream …

I am the Heartbeat of Africa …



I am the Heartbeat of Africa …

I am the heartbeat of Africa. The blood flowing through its veins, and I have seen much. I have witnessed the the pummelling of peoples under the jackboot of colonialism, the plunder of wealth, stripping bare the very veins I flow through. I have urged the collective to stand tall, amidst the horrors of history. It has not been easy, the tyranny of centuries has left scars, raw scabby festering sores, my thumping scarlet oozing out of myriad pores, rendering the great continent pained, hollow … but still, and yet, I course inside millions of souls, refusing to capitulate, thick with hopes for the day and the days after the day. I have placated the wounded, the multitudes forgotten, the bodies seeking respite from the loss, the anger, the deprivation of spirits undimmed by the splintered darkness of racial prejudice. I have seen so much, children torn from loving embraces, mothers holding on, as the world turns its face away, conveniently absolving itself of its crimes. I have felt the hardening of arteries, the will to fight on, despite the overwhelming odds.

yes, I am the blood of Africa. 

and I shall continue to flow, coaxing my people to rise again, to summon up the valiant spirits of the ancestors, to stand and to fight against the insidious doublespeak of tongues, silken tongues peddling instruments of death, shunning the divides that separate one from another, to rise and greet the fresh blazing African sun, each day, every day, until that day when the daily battles cease, when the battles are done. 

yes, I am the blood of Africa, and I shall flow ever on, sowing hope where desolation stalks the evenings, I am hope for tomorrows dawn, for despite and inspite of it all, the new day of peace, of renewed hope, must be, must be born …

dawn slides 




momentary slides,


of lifes’ exquisite times,


at times,




are dusted, burnished,


shedding the weight, baggage,




of random strings,


at once,




flinging me opposite you,


in a dream i relished,




not long ago,




so know this, if nothing else,


those moments within me reside,




today, now,


as timely as the coming in of each dawns tide … …

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Talkin’ Neo-fascist Blues …

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The odour of fire and hate that I smell across our earth,
reeks of an obscene neo-fascism that is being brought to birth,

for as our world’s lungs are clogged and in flames,
and as hard-won democracy is tear-gassed and gored,
millions of our sisters and brothers are being put to the sword.

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When the mathematics of 370, of tariff fluctuations flung here and there, of the nauseating billions siphoned and looted,
while hungry mouths and empty bellies are silenced and jackbooted,

even as they scapegoat the poor, the destitute, the ninety-nine percent,
even as they call us the toxic, fifth-column diseased brigade,
it is their rapacious greed that pummel us to the ground, as they sip their cocktails in their ostentatious shade.

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While constitutions are ripped apart, and religions are poisoned into many a hornets hive, lo and behold we must celebrate that at long last, our sisters are allowed to drive,

and this isn’t the madness of emotions laid bare, this is the careful crafting of hate, of communalism, of religious bigotry, of patriarchal injustice, of us and of them, of prejudice chiselled with venomous care.

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For when the richest countries dehumanise the poor, when their presidents and so-called leaders strut conceitedly, with the puffed-up ugliness of a drunken bar boor,

when the weak are threatened, the rich coddled, when the beaten down are beaten down ever more to the blood-caked floor,

the time has long past to boot these fascists out of the door,

to reclaim our streams, our seeds, our shared waters, our collective commons and so much more,

and to finally shutter the shutters, to tear down the walls they build, because our world is not their 24/7 convenience store …

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yes, I’m talkin’ neo-fascist greed and racist, misogynistic, grotesque nationalist hate,

yes, I’m talkin’ the jagged edges of discord, the realpolitik of tribal, divisive, casteist sandpaper that is meant to grate,

yes, the erosion of shared humane principles, the corrosion of the internationalist ideal, the dumbing us down and flaying us into submission, the never-ending braying that this is and will always be our fate.

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Yet we will rise!

We rise as one!

We rise and we resist,

yes,
we must rise today,
before it is truly, far too late.

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leaving it all behind 

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leaving the din of this city far behind,

away from the strangling grind.

she asked me “what are you hoping to find?”,

“you”, ” i said,

“if you don’t mind” …

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Our mother with Comrade Nelson Mandela’s mother

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The 15th of August 1934 and 1947

( dedicated to our late mother Zubeida ‘Jubie’ Moolla, and to all the women, the mostly unsung heroines in all the struggles for freedom across the world )

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1.

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Our mother was born on the 15th of August, an auspicious day, in the winter of 1934.

Thirteen years later, also on this auspicious day, in the summer of 1947, India cast off the yoke of colonial oppression.

These dates, though a decade apart are bound together in our family, hewn together by the happenstance of fate.

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2.

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The threads of the struggle for freedom, the hunger for liberation, the thirst for democracy, the ache of sacrifice, are intertwined.

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The valiant freedom fighters faced the brutality of the enemy head-on, staring down the barrels of the imperialists with chins held high, relinquishing the comfort of inaction for the battle for those eternally noble ideals – the struggle against oppression, the quest for human dignity, the emancipation of women, the conviction of being a part of a greater cause in the service of humanity.

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4.

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The struggle for liberation in South Africa and in India left many martyred souls, many more victims of appalling cruelty, the harrowing pain of families’ torn apart, the parents and children ripped from each other, the savagery of torture, the massacres of the innocents, the decades spent in prison, the years spent in exile.

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The names of the martyrs bear witness:

Solomon Mahlangu.
Bhagat Singh.
Ahmed Timol.
Rajguru.
Vuyisile Mini.
Prakash Napier
Sukhdev.
Steve Biko.
Victoria Mxenge.
Yusuf Akhalwaya.

Just a few names of the many more who gave up their youth, cruelly executed by the merciless foe.

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The torch bearers of the struggles, are forever etched in our minds, always kept close to our hearts, for these were the giants who inspired countless more to join the just cause for universal human dignity.

Their names are legendary:

Nelson Mandela.
Lillian Ngoyi.
Jawaharlal Nehru.
Sarojini Naidu.
Walter Sisulu.
Mahatma Gandhi.
Dorothy Nyembe.
Oliver Tambo.
Charlie Andrews.
Ahmed Kathrada.
Sardar Patel.
Govan Mbeki.
Nana Sita.
Chris Hani.
Aruna Asaf Ali.
Andrew Mlangeni.
Margaret Mncadi.
Sucheta Kriplani.
Ruth First.
Subhash Chandra Bose.
Joe Slovo.
Raymond Mhlaba.

These are but a few of our eternal flames – the flames that shall burn bright in the hearts of all freedom loving people.

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5.

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Our mother was born into a politically active family. Our grandfather a fierce opponent of racism and sectarianism in all its grotesque forms.

Our mother grew up in this cauldron of political agitation.

Our mother married our father and a daughter and a son were born, while Papa made his way in and out of jail, Mummy was left to tend for the infants, Tasneem and Azad.

Our parents were forced into exile, with their beloved young children left behind in the care of loving maternal grandparents, uncles and aunts.

Mummy as a mother suffered harshly and went through many breakdowns, being separated from Tasneem and Azad. I think only people who have been apart from their children will understand the pain of a mother.

People often think life in exile was easy. It was not. Papa was with MK and travelled continuously. It was mummy who was left with her thoughts, her grief, her pain and suffering knowing that her children were suffering by not having parents like normal families do.

People also called mummy ‘cheeky’ with a quick and bad temper, but can anyone understand the pain of being separated from ones own children and not becoming angry and feeling broken.

What Tasneem and Azad had to suffer through only they know. No one who has not been ripped away from their parents can ever ever know the effect that pain and pining has on the children. Today we see people whose kids go for sleepovers with friends and already the house seems empty and already the parents and the children miss each other and WhatsApp each other.

Tasneem and Azad never had that luxury.

May my nieces never forget the sacrifice mummy and daddy made and the pain of that time that can never really heal.

So may we try and spend time just thinking how it would be for the grandchildren if they had their parents suddenly taken away from them and then having to live with uncles and aunties, and grandparents.

These are the scars of history.

These are the wounds that never heal.

These are the sacrifices that go unnoticed.

These are the gnawing ache that history often forgets.

These are the experiences of countless mothers and their children.

This is the price paid dearly for the freedom and democracy we share today.

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The 15th of August, a day of celebration of freedom in India.

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The 15th of August, a day of reflection for our family in South Africa.

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Long live the Women’s Movement!

Viva the strength and power of the women!

( dedicated to Zubeida ‘Zubie’ Moolla, and to all the women, the unsung heroines in all the struggles for freedom across the world )

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Our mother with Comrade Nelson Mandela

Love Concedes






love concedes … … …




love concedes, through bitter travails,


love recedes, into closeted wardrobes,


love exhausts, lover and loved alike,


but,


love endures, through the years,


traversing valleys of tears,


dispelling untruths,


exiling paralysing fears.

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a scribble just scribbled. definitely needs to be edited and maybe rewritten but it’s just a raw slice of pained emotion now.

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The First People and the People of our World Speak …

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You visited our shores,
bearing muskets and swords.

You landed on our revered soil,
in your hearts your blood a-boil.

You came to our land,
cunningly extending a friendly hand.

Your motives were clear,
pillage and plunder everything, however far or near.

Your eyes blazed with greed,
always hungering for so much more than you ever could need.

Your syphilis-blankets were your gift to us,
biological warfare you waged with a smile and without a fuss.

You tore into our sisters, our mothers, our daughters, our wives – to the very last,
your ugliness has not been forgotten after all these centuries that have passed.

You decimated our peoples, raining death upon us as a bloodthirsty barbarian horde,
you slaughtered the bison that roamed free, as into their flesh your bullets mangled and gored.

You stole from us all we ever had, regarding us as vermin meant to be wiped off the face of this earth,
your genocide is now a footnote in history, you cackled merrily as your ethnic-cleansing was carried out with much mirth.

You dumped us into ‘reservations’, your sickening Apartheid on display,
your arbitrary ‘bantustans’* was where you decreed our people could stay.

The reservations are where we barely live today,
creating the climate so that with alcohol and drugs our people you still slay.

Where are your grand words that you spew around like dung,
“freedom” and “democracy” and all the other hollow platitudes that are so obscenely flung.

We could go on about your carefully crafted plans to get rid of us all, the gracious “White-Mans’ Burden” repeated endlessly through colonialism and neo-imperialism all around this world,
your avaricious plunder of this, our common earth, on grotesque display as on “free trade treaties” your signatures swirl.

Yes, we could speak endlessly about your notions of racial superiority, your hubris that your might is right, how you try to cower us all because today your empire is strong,
yes, we could and perhaps should talk about your noxious nationalism, your obscene belief in “my country right or wrong”.

Yes, we could go on and on, about the racism that you embrace, even as you blabber that God is one.

Yes, today we will remind you that “The Cradle of Humankind”** is here on the southern tip of the continent of Africa, where all of us, the human originated from,

yes, today we will remind you that as you pour your infectious bile and as you continue to pillage and invade, and our countries bomb,

we will not stoop so low, as you so shamelessly have,

and,

and,

we will not tell you to go back to where you came from.

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* – Source: Wikipedia –

A Bantustan (also known as Bantu homeland, black homeland, black state or simply homeland; Afrikaans: Bantoestan) was a territory set aside for black inhabitants of South Africa and South West Africa (now Namibia), as part of the policy of apartheid.

Ten Bantustans were established in South Africa, and ten in neighbouring South West Africa (then under South African administration), for the purpose of concentrating the members of designated ethnic groups, thus making each of those territories ethnically homogeneous as the basis for creating “autonomous” nation states for South Africa’s different black ethnic groups.

In terms of the Bantu Homelands Citizenship Act of 1970, blacks were stripped of their South African citizenship, which deprived of their few remaining political and civil rights in South Africa, and made them citizens of their designated homelands.

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** – Source:
https://www.maropeng.co.za/content/page/about

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The Cradle of Humankind is one of 10 World Heritage Sites in South Africa, and the only one in Gauteng.

It is widely recognised as the place from which all of humankind originated.

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An Immigrant’s Lament

art by banksy

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an immigrants lament

gazing at the sky
i often wonder why,

birds soaring,
high in the open sky,

are free to fly ?

is it that they have wings,

for i too have wings, friend,

so,
i often wonder why,
huddled against desolate sleet,

and,
i often wonder why,
buried under flimsy newspapersheet,

that i too have wings, friend,

i too have wings!

it is just that
my little wings,

are my tired
little feet …

For Nelson “Madiba” Mandela (born 18th July).

Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela walked amongst us not long ago.

A man of action, forged in the crucible of resistance.

Resistance against racial discrimination.

Resistance against injustice.

Resistance against oppression.

Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela walked amongst us not long ago.

A man burnished in the furnace of struggle.

Struggle to defeat the crime against humanity that was Apartheid.

Struggle against the obscene notions of racial superiority.

Struggle against the scourge of hate.

Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela walked amongst us not long ago.

A human being who personified kindness.

A human being who embodied humility.

A human being who exemplified the unity of our human race.

Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela walked amongst us not long ago.

A man of peace, and a man who fought the just fight.

A man of forgiveness, yes, but a man who believed in the truth to be brought to light of the complicity of the many who supported the Apartheid regime.

A man of truth, and a man of humane love.

Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela walked amongst us not long ago.

He was of flesh and of blood, and he shed his blood as he endured the lashes of the whip on his flesh.

He was of flesh and of blood, and he fought ferociously against the suppression of his fellow human beings.

He was of flesh and of blood, and he emerged with dignity from the hell of twenty-seven years of imprisonment on an island of tyranny.

Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela walked amongst us not long ago.

He was a man of a steely will in the long cause to rid all oppressed people from the yoke of colonialism, he picked up arms and fought the honourable fight.

He was a man of fiery resolve against the scourge of divisiveness, he was at the forefront in the battles against human subjugation and indignity.

Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela walked amongst us not long ago.

Madiba was a revolutionary, in the trenches against the obscenity of poverty and deprivation.

Madiba was a soldier, on the ground in the service of the most vulnerable, the children of this world.

Madiba was unshakeable, and he lived the example of the committed revolutionary and the dignified statesman.

Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela walked amongst us not long ago.

Our beloved Madiba does not walk amongst us anymore.

And yet, Nelson Rolihlahla ‘Madiba’ Mandela lives within us.

Madiba lives in the streams that flow into the rivers that flow into the oceans.

Madiba lives in the winds that blow across the vast lands of Africa and beyond.

Madiba lives in the thud-thudding of heartbeats around our world.

Madiba lives in the veins where the blood flows through our common human form.

Madiba lives!

Madiba will always live!

a few more days …

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a few more days … … …

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as the branch of the oak sashays,
as a solitary palm undulates, and sways,

i count the days,
till i feel your loving gaze,
your soul, your heart ablaze,

i count the days,
till our separate ways,
dispel the haze,

i count the days,
when seeing you will make my eyes with desire glaze,

i count the days,
mattering not what cards fate plays,

i count the days,
till destiny’s highways,
merge, embracing the sun’s scorching rays,

for as awake this man lays,
the need, the hunger, the desire aching and ravenous, stays,

as i think of you,
counting the days,

until our seduced souls through the night skies blaze,

i count on you,
counting the days,

when the need for each other whisperingly says,

for you, i have crested the waves,

knowing my hunger for you may be a craze,

a craze that shall abide, firmly rooted, in nights and in days,

as i remain still,
counting these remaining moments, for you my being entire craves,

i lie awake,
counting the days,

lying awake, counting these minutes, these days … …

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For a Mother …

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She left me,

with only the thoughts of her embrace to warm me,

in frigid mornings of tomorrows yet to come.

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She left me,

with her words of tender truths to shroud me,

in the coming evenings of stabbing sleet and hail.

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She left me,

yet she stays forever within me,

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in my waking dreams

and in my restful thoughts,

she stays forever within me,

she remains an abiding part,

of the love,

the pain,

the tears,

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and thus we shall never, ever be truly apart.

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( for my mother, who passed away on the 4th of April 2008, after a long battle with Motor-Neurone Disease or ALS )

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A L I V E

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alive …

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Lashed against jagged truths,

plumbing the depths of lost emotions,

straining to hear your voice calling me back.

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Aching to taste
your breath scalding my lips,

pining to feel
forgotten whispers murmured,

swirling around
the rapids,

gasping for air,

nursing a simple dream,
nothing grandiose …

to feel
once more –

alive.

alive …

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The Girl in the Scarlet Scarf

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The Girl in the Scarlet Scarf …

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Her scarf was scarlet,
wrapped around her neck to keep the cold at bay,

she had her Rosa Luxemburg book tightly held to her chest,

I smiled at her,
she smiled back.

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We shared laughter and tears,
in that winter long ago,

we held each other close,
baring our scars,

weaving a life ahead for two souls out of time,

and then she was gone,

leaving me with just this paltry rhyme.

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it was as sudden,
as jarring as this scribble,

yet the memory of her scarlet scarf remains etched deep,

yet the dreams of our shared winter visit me often,

in my cold and desolate sleep …

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The Cost of Revolution …

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(in memory of the June 16th 1976 student uprising in South Africa)

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You hurled rocks, stones,
Molotov Cocktails,
Sling-shots against the brutality of racial oppression.

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You fell on the streets of Soweto,
Thokoza,
Kagiso,
Sharpeville,
Tembisa,

and countless more across this nation.

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Tasting the acrid stench of tear-gas,

Feeling the flesh ripped off your bones by their dogs,

Drenched by water-cannons,
Stung by rubber-bullets,
Whipped by sjamboks,
Shot in the head by lead,
Paid for by your country’s gold.

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You stood trial for Treason,
Facing the hangman’s noose,

You stood firm, you did not break,
Even though,
You had wives, sons, daughters, lovers, brothers, sisters, and friends to lose.

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The revolutionary dream burned bright,
In all your hearts,

Even as the jackboot of Apartheid,

Fractured your bones and tore your families into broken and splintered parts.

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You left your brothers,
Sisters,
Sons,
Daughters,
Lovers,
Wives,
Comrades and friends,

Seeking out foreign lands,
With only the ammunition that you held in your hearts, your minds and in your never-wavering hands.

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The enemy did not waver either,

Tyranny didn’t cease.

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2 AM knocks on doors around this land,
Meant to stifle, to intimidate,

Yet,
You took a stand.

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Hungry,
lost far away from home, pining for freedom and your loved ones,

Still,
You stood firm,
You fought on,

“Release Mandela and all Political Prisoners” was your cry,
In capitals in far-off lands,

You feared not the bayonet in the enemy’s hands,

The revolution was burning bright,

Even as the dawn of Freedom was in sight.

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Finally on a February day,
They released him and the joy was palpable, nothing stood now in the revolution’s way.

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All the while,
The enemy consolidated its power,

Paying off traitors,

Seeding violence,

Orchestrating mayhem to taint the noble cause,

And still you took the tyrant’s rifles and clenched their muzzles in-between your brave jaws.

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Never standing down,
Backing away,
Retreating to safe space,
The fire of revolution burned,
Spreading through the plateaus and valleys and townships and cities and villages in this pained land,

And still,

Still,
You held that Kalashnikov in your hand.

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And when that day of freedom came,

You felt the stirrings of joy and pain and yes,
Of shame.

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You felt the shame of leaving those you left behind,

You tasted again the pain,
Of economic hardships,
Of capitalism and its illusory promise,
Of a revolution left incomplete,

Till,
Every man, woman and child has enough to eat.

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A revolution still incomplete,
Where hunger stalks the night,
Where mercy,
And comradely solidarity,
Left last night on a first-class flight.

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You stand tall still,
Working as you always have,

Polishing the metal chariots of those you once bled for,

Still feeling the injustice,
Of not having the two cents more,

That deprives you of your daily bread,

And you try hard to remember,

Whether this is the revolution,

For which so many died,

The countless whose names remain unsaid,

The brothers and sister,
mothers and fathers,
Lovers and friends,

the martyred dead.

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(dedicated to all South Africans who sacrificed their lives, their families, in pursuit of the revolutionary dream. A dream that remains a dream to many, and a dream that will continue to be dreamed)

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D-Day: France, June 6th, 1944.

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They were thrashed by the merciless sea.

They were drenched by the savage waters, their uniforms clinging to their shivering bodies.

They were mowed down as they approached the beaches of death.

The beaches of unspeakable horrors.

Gold.

Omaha.

Juno.

Sword.

Utah.

They were brothers and fathers and sons and friends and cousins and nephews and grandchildren and boys and men.

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2.

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They surged on, facing the metallic death of Nazism and Fascism,

they surged on and were cut into pieces of bloodied flesh and shattered bone,

yet they surged on.

They surged on so that we may live.

They surged on so that we may breathe the air of peace.

They surged on and on,

and on.

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3.

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Today their bones lie buried, along rows of crosses.

Today they lie beneath this earth.

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4.

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Today they live.

Tomorrow they shall live.

They who sacrificed their lives for humanity.

They shall live on eternally,

within us all!

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seeds

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seeds …

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swept up
by the dust

scattered remnants
of lives once whole

now
buried
interred

in cold dead dry ground.

seeds
swept up
by the dust

seeking a glimmer

of hope
of the promise

of
a better tomorrow.

seeds
swept up
by the dust

sinking roots
hoping to belong

somewhere
anywhere

fatigued
spent

waiting
hoping

for days
moments
tomorrows

a
time

a
place

where one
need not

be
ever smiling

and to be
always strong …

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Why I support Liverpool Football Club …

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1. Bill Shankly and the socialist ideal.

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2. John Lennon.

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3. Roger Waters.

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oft-repeated hope

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talkin’ why hope is important bluesy-blues …

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this scribble is about hope, that unweighable weighty word, often bandied about ritually, and thus its message, its voice, may be blunted by repetitive bluster, so i’ll be a-scribblin’ along, with all the gusto i may muster, since we’re talking about hope, without which the human race, us all, all of us, i dare say, would not cope, ’cause imagine an absence of something, can’t put your finger on that feeling feeling, that oftentimes rocks at our souls, leavin’ our minds reelin’, yeah that’s right, but no propagandising today, though with me, at least, i can truly say, were it not for hope, that figment, blister on indifferent fates’ machinations, that belief, that burning in the pit of ones core, gnawing, gnashed teeth muttering, that all this pain too must eventually, pale, and that’s whats a-sometime the reason for us being heartful, and or hale, its hope, raw, deceptive, lyin’, corrosive, rusted but a-shineyed up, yeah that hope that keeps my heart pumping, its that hope that keeps me alive, and its that hope upon which, may all new flowers thrive …

.

.

.

She who is Free …

.

.

.

she who is free …

.

.

I would have called out to her, across the the green fields she walked,

her silhouette fading in the distance.

.

I would have called out to her,

she who walked her own path now,

free from all the weight that caged her will.

.

I would have called out to her,

yet I remained still.

.

.

.

Less lonely

art from google

.

.

.

Less lonely …

.

.

.

Walking through this void, this callous vacuum of life,

feeling the splintered sleet pummelling me, each fracture a slow twisting of the knife.

Walking through this shell, this indifferent chasm of loneliness,

all that I wish for,
all that yearn for,
all that I desire,

is to be less lonely.

Just less lonely.

art from google

.

.

.

The following inspiring and deeply moving poem is written by Yugesh Pillay, the son of dear family friends.

Yugesh’s father, Dr. Souri Pillay, who sadly is no longer with us, was deeply rooted in the struggle against Apartheid tyranny, and ‘Uncle Souri’ as I knew him was a rare and principled human being who always put the needs of the many ahead of everything else.

A close comrade and brother and friend of my father, uncle Souri was one of those humane human beings for whom the values of internationalism and the struggles for human dignity and emancipation raced through his veins.

Uncle Souri sought no fame, no personal enrichment – a true revolutionary and comrade if ever there was one.

We lost a giant pillar in the history of our country when uncle Souri passed on, but we are and shall always be guided by his indomitable spirit and the values and principles and ideals which we were so fortunate to have had imparted to us through his actions and love and spirit of non-racialism that we cannot and must never forget.

Viva the undying spirit of Comrade Souri Pillay!

Viva the memory of a true son of the soil!

You may not walk with us, respected and beloved uncle Souri, but you live within us through your warmth and kindness and steadfast principles and ideals for a better, more just and less cruel world for all.

We miss you, and always will.

It is an honour and a privilege to share the following poem by Yugesh Pillay, the son of respected Comrade Souri Pillay.

Amandla! Awethu!

The Struggle Continues!

.

.

.

_____________

.

.

.

In Memory of Tata Madiba.

.

.

.

.

Tears are not Enough,

Do not shed tears of Sadness
Shed tears of Gratitude and Love

For without our Father
Africa would be a dark place

Thank You for being Our Light
to Guide us Through the darkness

Showing us that Forgiveness Dissolves Hate
And Love Frees All Souls

Darkness has no form or substance
It is only the absence of Light

Only through Our Light
Can the darkness Dissolve

Only through Our Action
Can Freedom be More than an Ideal

Let Us not allow Our Father’s Light to dim
We Will not allow His Legacy to burn low

Arm Yourself with Forgiveness and Love
Fight with Valour and Resolve

Come Together!
Stand Up!
Shine Brighter in Honour of Africa’s Greatest Sun!

Do not shed tears with idle hands

Africa is not free Yet…

.

.

.

________________

.

.

.

Yugesh Pillay
A Son of Africa

.

.

.

Freedom – The Unfinished Dream.

The shackles have been cast off.

The chains broken.

A people once squashed,

under the jackboot of Apartheid,

are free.

Free at last!

Freedom came on the 27th day in that April of 1994.

Freedom from prejudice.

From institutionalized racism.

From being relegated to second-class citizens.

Freedom came and we danced.

We cried.

We ululated as we elected

our revered Mandela.

President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

Our very own beloved ‘Madiba’.

Black and white and brown and those in-between.

The many hues of this nation,

rejoiced as we breathed in the air of freedom and democracy.

Today we pause.

We remember.

We salute.

The brave ones whose sacrifices made this day possible,

on that 27th day of April,

24 years ago.

Today we may dance.

We sing.

We ululate!

We cry.

Tears of joy and tears of loss.

Of remembrance and of forgiveness.

Of yet to be realised reconciliation and of the ghastly memories that still torment us.

Today we pause.

We acknowledge the tasks ahead.

The hungry.

The naked.

The destitute.

Today we reaffirm,

that promise of freedom.

From want.

From hunger.

From eyes without promise.

Today we reflect.

On unfulfilled promises.

On the proliferation of greed.

On the blurring of the ideals of freedom.

Today we say:

We will take back the dream.

We will renew the promise.

We will not turn away.

Today we pledge:

To stand firm.

To keep the pressure on.

To remind those in the corridors of power,

that we the people still need to savour the fruits of the tree of freedom*.

And till that time,

when all shall share in the bounty of democracy,

We shall remain vigilant,

and strong.

And we shall continue,

to struggle.

And to shout out loud,

“Amandla – Awethu!”**

________________

* – final words of Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu before he has executed by the Apartheid regime in 1979

“My blood will nourish the tree that will bear the fruits of freedom. Tell my people that I love them. They must continue the fight”.

** – “Amandla – Awethu” means “Power to the People, and was a rallying slogan during the struggle against Apartheid.

Untitled

Untitled.

.

.

.

.

At times, feelings slice through moments –

days.

Weeks. Months.

At times, a saw shredding all seasons –

winter.

Spring. Autumn.

At times, feelings splinter, embedding a slow agonising pain,

beneath the skin, cleaving the gasps between breaths into ever shorter ones,

leeching off swirling thoughts,

slipping through the gutter,

only to disappear –

in smokey tendrils of despair,
in hazy filaments of blinding tears,

knotted in the ropes of unmentioned fears,

as the inevitability of another day, another week, another month,

like sandpaper,

nears.

.

.

.

.

walking …

from google

The Judging of Nelson Mandela.

1.

“It is an ideal for which I am prepared to die”, said the resolute prisoner in the dock.

He stood firm in his revolutionary convictions, potentially facing the gallows of Apartheid tyranny.

The prisoner and his comrades were sentenced to life imprisonment on an island of shame, and Robben Island was it’s name.

They endured the hell of Apartheid’s abyss for 27 long years.

2.

Nelson Mandela walked free on that early February day in 1990.

His years of incarceration did not dilute his revolutionary ideals.

His beloved organisation, the African National Congress with him at the helm, now dealt with an enemy hell-bent of sowing the seeds of mayhem in a country on the precipice.

He stood resolute.
He stood principled.

Nelson Mandela and his comrades negotiated the path ahead, which realised the objectives of a free and non-racial and democratic South Africa.

Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress had to make many compromises, in the quid pro quo of negotiating with an enemy busy in the process of fomenting a civil war.

This did not make Madiba a sell-out.

This did not render him toothless.

This did not mean he had capitulated on his revolutionary ideals.

Nelson Mandela and his comrades faced a stark reality – a negotiated peaceful settlement with the Apartheid state or the prospect of further bloodshed and the implosion of South Africa, sinking into the horror of civil-war.

This did not render him impotent.

This did not dilute his revolutionary fire.

3.

Nelson Mandela and his comrades realised that the white minority regime would not simply relinquish power.

The Apartheid state was already actively engaged in the stoking of wanton acts of violence in order to derail the process of transforming South Africa into a democratic country where all human beings regardless of race would be granted the right to vote and to be no longer relegated to second class citizens in the land of their ancestors.

There were difficult compromises to be made, and there were bitter pills that had to be swallowed.

The enemy would not simply give up the privileges of the white minority without a fight.

Nelson Mandela and his comrades understood that reality.

The cold harsh reality of facing a protracted war of attrition or the birth of a new democratic South Africa from the clutches of Apartheid hegemony.

4.

Nelson Mandela and his comrades in the African National Congress made the hard choices.

They laid to rest the prospect of a civil war, while making gut-wrenching decisions in order to achieve the first goal of bringing to fruition a free and democratic South Africa.

Many were displeased.
Many were embittered.

Many thought this the abandoning of the true principles of the struggle.

They were not all wrong.

They had good reason to believe that far too many concessions were made.

They who fought on the frontlines were not being unreasonable.

They faced Apartheid’s bullets and truncheons and torture for years.

Yet Nelson Mandela did not shut them out, but brought them in and invited them to be a part of the hard work that lay ahead in the creation of a new democratic country.

5.

Today, we look back.

Today, we judge Nelson Mandela and his comrades for a “revolution denied”.

Today, with the hindsight of history, we damn the negotiated settlement.

Today, the failures of the democratic governments that have followed Nelson Mandela’s one term as President, are coldly and conveniently laid at the feet of Nelson Mandela.

Nelson Mandela did not crave power nor status. President Nelson Mandela was a human being, a man of flesh and of blood, with his share of faults.

Nelson Mandela never shied away from acknowledging his faults.

6.

Today we dismiss Nelson Mandela as one who sold out the revolution.

Today we condemn Nelson Mandela for the greed and corruption that keeps millions in poverty and the majority of the population who have no access to dignified health care and education and housing and employment.

Today we judge Nelson Mandela as the one who watered down every ideal and principle of the struggle for freedom and for human emancipation.

7.

Nelson Mandela stepped down as President in 1999 after serving one term in office.

Today we are in 2018.

How convenient to subtly paint Nelson Mandela as the one who sowed the seeds of all that is wrong in our country today.

8.

How very convenient.

9.

Nelson Mandela was not the prisoner-set-free to to assume the Presidency of the African National Congress and rule by dictatorial edicts and by personal decree.

The African National Congress and its National Executive Committee (NEC), the ANC’s Armed Wing Umkhonto-we-Sizwe (MK), as well the ANC’s Tripartite Alliance partners, the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) played an integral part in the negotiated settlement that resulted from the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA).

Leaders and political activists like Walter Sisulu, Chris Hani, Joe Slovo, Cyril Ramaphosa, Jacob Zuma, Andrew Mlangeni, Ahmed Kathrada, and many other individuals who spent years in Apartheid prisons and in exile were part of the decision making process.

To hold Nelson Mandela solely responsible for the negotiated settlement that led to the creation of a democratic South Africa in 1994 is both disingenuous and ignores historical facts.

The African National Congress structures on the ground were part of often heated debates as Nelson Mandela and his comrades navigated the treacherous waters of negotiating with a government that was in power and had the army at its disposal and was conducting bloody covert operations in order to derail the efforts to reach a peaceful solution for the dissolution of Apartheid and the birth of a new South African nation.

If Nelson Mandela is to be regarded as a ‘sell-out’, then he cannot be judged alone for the failures of successive ANC governments from 1999 to 2018.

It is a simplistic reading of history to come to the conclusion that Nelson Mandela stood alone as a “sell-out” while once again conveniently ignoring the many other factors that played a part in the transition of South Africa from a racist, tyrannical state to a free and democratic new nation.

10.

Once again, how very convenient.

from google

H O P E

Quote from Google





H O P E …





In these times,
when you feel the walls closing in on you,

in these times,
when you feel the world to be hypocritically untrue,

in these times,
when you feel all your lifeblood being sucked out of you.


In these times,
when people seem shallow, heartless too,

in these times,
when you feel yourself a bystander in your own life, not having a clue,

in these times,
when every breath seems a mammoth task, when the air seems sucked out too.


These are those times when nothing offers peace,

when no solace can be found,

when all you feel is dragging yourself along the tear stained ground,

these are those times,
when asphyxiation threatens your soul,

when you scream with all your might, without hearing a sound,

these are those times,
when the world is a blurry haze, with a rancid stench that keeps jabbing you on the rebound.


It is in these moments,
when all hope disappears,

when all is lost in trepidation and gnawing fears,

it is in these moments,
when you plumb the depths of your soul,

when you beseech the Gods above even as your faith may have taken a toll,

it is in these moments,

that you fight to smash the shackles, so you may be free,

it is in these moments,

that we wish to simply,

be …



Artwork from Google



For Scully, my beloved cat …


Scully, the avid reader 🤗



The Saga of Romeo and Juliet on Valentines Day …







that day of the year once more

the zombie-apocalypse-horde descend

foaming through aisles in this-or-that store.

they seek, perhaps, absolution for ‘that one time’ and, of course ‘those’ other times before

when you felt the splintering of your very core

while he mumbled apologies that sliced through your bone | your flesh like a saw

so, yes, it is ‘that’ day of the year once more

the cat’s night to sashay through the front door

knowing only too well she’ll find me right here looking the grumpy old bored boar

and now look who’s purrring like 1-coolcat flopsilly sinking to her majesterial floor

“oh please not the ‘I’m really not into valentines day blah de blah’, you old boar!”

that unwipeawayable smile seems to say

“who loves kitty hmm who loves kitty”

by then as was with the Borg

resistance is futile

so you flopsilly flop down next to her

and as she permits you to you to brush the now “greying-cos’ of oldage” lil’ hairs under her teensy furrry chin

you begin to hum a tune,

‘Romeo & Juliet’ oh yes that 80’s Dire Straits song …

“… and he says …

‘you & me, babe …

how ‘about it …”





https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxfjSnMN88U

“Romeo & Juliet”

Written by Mark Knopfler

From the Dire Straits’ studio album ‘Making Movies’

Released on 17 October 1980

Lyrics

“… A lovestruck Romeo sings the streets a serenade
Laying everybody low with a love song that he made
Finds a streetlight steps out of the shade
Says something like you and me babe how about it?

Juliet says hey it’s Romeo you nearly gimme me a heart attack
He’s underneath the window she’s singing hey la my boyfriend’s back
You shouldn’t come around here singing up at people like that
Anyway what you gonna do about it?

Juliet the dice were loaded from the start
And I bet and you exploded in my heart
And I forget I forget the movie song
When you gonna realize it was just that the time was wrong, Juliet?

Come up on different streets they both were streets of shame
Both dirty both mean yes and the dream was just the same
And I dreamed your dream for you and now your dream is real
How can you look at me as if I was just another one of your deals?

Well you can fall for chains of silver you can fall for chains of gold
You can fall for pretty strangers and the promises they hold
You promised me everything you promised me thick and thin, yeah
Now you just say oh Romeo yeah you know I used to have a scene with him

Juliet when we made love you used to cry
You said I love you like the stars above I’ll love you till I die
There’s a place for us you know the movie song
When you gonna realize it was just that the time was wrong Juliet?

I can’t do the talk like they talk on TV
And I can’t do a love song like the way it’s meant to be
I can’t do everything but I’d do anything for you
I can’t do anything except be in love with you

And all I do is miss you and the way we used to be
All I do is keep the beat and bad company
All I do is kiss you through the bars of a rhyme
Julie I’d do the stars with you any time

Juliet when we made love you used to cry
You said I love you like the stars above I’ll love you till I die
There’s a place for us you know the movie song
When you gonna realize it was just that the time was wrong Juliet?

A lovestruck Romeo sings the streets a serenade
Laying everybody low with a love song that he made
Finds a convenient streetlight steps out of the shade
Says something like you and me babe how about it? …”

you good people have yourselves a special valentines day too!

Scully whacking me at chess 😊

quote from google





the corrosive concept that “fair is lovely and thin is best” …





fair is bland,

fair is a void,


of all the glorious colours of the rainbow devoid.




fair is lovely,

fair is insipid,


absent of flavour, lukewarm and tepid.




fair is lovely,

fair is cruel,


a self esteem-draining weapon wielded, from the corridors of corporations to the hallways of school.




fair is lovely,

fair is vile,


polluting minds with notions of white supremacy, sowing the seeds that the other is inferior, meant only to revile.




fair is lovely,

fair is an infection,


a fast spreading disease of the mind, rejecting all children of god, or to consign to the trashcan, the science of natural selection.




thin is beautiful,

skinny is best,


leaving the rest of real human beings to question themselves, and diet and starve themselves and imbibe pills and all the rest.




fair is lovely,

fair is a dagger,


plunged deep into the hearts of people everywhere, to breed the grotesque spawn of racial superiority, while intoxicated on that bullshit, the racists rant and blabber and swagger.




fair and thin is lovely ?


no, the kaleidoscope of humans of all hues and of all sizes is lovely.






NO TO RACIST DEMEANING OF PEOPLE !

NO TO BODY-SHAMING !


artwork from google




too idealistic ?

Quote from Google







too idealistic ?






in this world so harsh and stark,


may we be the spark that dispels the dark.



may we hold onto each other in a warm embrace,


regardless of colour, creed, gender, or race.



may we accept that we sip from a single pond,



may we acknowledge that the spirit of uBuntu* envelopes us – in a unifying bond.



may we cherish this bounteous earth, our only home, with respect and kindness,


may we open our eyes, and resist greed-filled corporate, personal, and governmental blindness.



may we love all, irrespective of who they choose to love, gay or straight,


may we accept that ignorance breeds hate, so may we banish those forces, baying at the gate.



may we teach our young that the objectification of women is not right,


may we strive to make every night, an abuse-free night.



may we face all forms of prejudice with a united stand,


may we find renewed strength by clasping a strangers hand.



may we realise that there is no place, on this planet, for poverty, hunger, and human despair,


may we appreciate that this world has enough for all, to from the communal orchards share.



may we start by introspection, by tearing off the blinkers of denial,


may we pursue to change that which is callous within us, even though that may be our hardest, personal trial.



may we tear down the walls that are built to divide,


may we emerge into the open fresh air,


with no longer the need to hide …








* – ‘uBuntuis an isiXhosa/isiZulu concept that espouses “the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity” – I am because we are.








Quote from Google

Artwork from Google







The Tears of Mother Earth …




Mother Earth weeps, her cries silenced, by the clinking of champagne flutes, as yet again, men myopic with greed carve out plans to plunder her more.




how much more shall you take, she moans, while men with noxious lust whoop with joy, their greed tainted with blinkers, knowingly stripping her further, in a blinded frenzy of self-serving savagery.




Mother Earth is ill, diseased by the ceaseless pillaging, by us, her children, siphoning more and more, till heaven knows when, she shall be hollow to the core.




are we so blinded, are we so callous, are we so lost in our glazed orgy, to hack away her dignity, her bounteous nurturing spirit, her selfless giving of herself, to let her children, us all, to eat, to be healthy, to live, to breathe in the freshest air and to bathe in the most pristine rivulets, flowing through her very veins and arteries, those very arteries and veins which we slice and dice each day.




our Mother calls to us, beseeching us, asking only how much more can she be expected to give, how much more are we going to take.




her wheezing spasms are felt by us all, her pleading for help resounds, as we chip away at her lungs, poison her waters, belch bile into her air, continually desecrating our shared commons.




our Mother is as mortal as you and i, for she too bleeds, for she too chokes, for she too lies weakened, ill after being brutalised by her very own.




as we avert our unseeing eyes, our deafened ears to her simple needs, we turn our backs to her, refusing to acknowledge her consistent gifts to us all, epoch upon epoch, millennia upon millennia.




as we avert our complicit gaze, we stand indicted, we stand forewarned, that her bounty is finite, for if we plunder evermore, she too shall be forced onto her knees, exhausted by her persistent and consistent motherliness, for she too can give only so much, for she too is aging and in need of tending, for she too is mortal.




and when that time comes, as it does to all that is mortal, that she fades and slips away, it shall be us, her very children, consciously and with savage intent, who rained down suffering on her, our Mother, till she said in a hushed whisper:




I am famished.

I have nothing left to give.





farewell, my children …




Artwork from Google

Artwork from Google





you have the largest part of my miniscule heart …




you smashed everything apart,

your light shone so bright,


you lost me from the start,

yet, and still,

you breathe within me as i trudge through another day and as another night readies itself to depart,

your light shines so bright,

deep in the creased corridors of my fate,

for you have the largest part of my miniscule heart …








Artwork from Google

astrophysics, astronomy, and love










astrophysics, astronomy, and love …




she smiled, she looked at me, incredulous, her jaw dropped,


” how on earth can you be so sure about that ? “


well i had to explain, because motion at this velocity cannot be simply stopped,


so i thought, this was the bloke who sported mops of hair, yet couldn’t do without close shaves,


so i said to her, i said,


” gravitational waves “






          ____________________



Gravitational waves are disturbances in the curvature of spacetime, generated by accelerated masses, that propagate as waves outward from their source at the speed of light. 


source: Wikipedia

Artwork from Google







letting go …





scratching

at wounds


picking

scabs


unleashing pain


twisting knives

turning effortlessly


amid the cacophonous romp

of highfives …



letting go

of

scraped souls


eroded

by

dishevelled dignity


stung

wrung

strung


and

hung


to dispel quaint smiles


perfected over a million wounded miles


shattering consciensces

along the way


blinding

blinkering

rose-tinted phantasy

day to groteque day


clogging vision

hazing eyes


tugging

pulling

tearing

down

curtains


leaving eyes

blinded

blinkered


unseeing

unfeeling …



while broken stems

mend gently


elsewhere


plucked

along strings


strings

strung

and

strummed


igniting

numbed senses


sublime flavours

on clouds of

touch

taste


melding

fusing


myriad dreams

into

dreadlocked hopes


entwined

intertwined


knowing the paths ahead

to be

far from kind


still

setting forth


yet

moving


ever moving

forward onward


hearts ablaze

hopeful


letting go

of it all


leaving it all

far far behind …






Artwork from Google

A Baobab Tree – Artwork from Google





as we walk …




though today we tread on broken glass,


our time shall come to pass,


when we may walk past the travails we seem to amass, 


and beyond the splinters of all that is crass …




A Baobab Tree – artwork from google

Artwork from Google





dawn breaking …




dawn breaking




1.



willowy brushstrokes,

conjured sketches,


painted,

etched,

embossed,


hewn between forgotten morns,


waking,

splintering,

straining, against each other,


ceaseless,

relentless,

endless,


empty,

a vacuum,


an abyss of night.




2.



still,

hope blazes,


bright,

radiant,

smiling,


though measured,

disciplined,


while embracing,

enveloping,


and always

surrendering to the eternal promise,


raging,

hungering,

aching,



the promise of a new dawn breaking



Artwork from Google

tread lightly

from Google





tread lightly …





Tread lightly, for many hearts lay strewn upon these roads,


alone, their plaintive calls heard by none,


just the birds whose doleful odes sing out in the dawn skies.




The world sleeps, the daily grind yet to begin,


when polished shoes shall trample those lonesome hearts,


that lay on roads where garbage trucks rid the new day of yesterday’s memories,


where leaves and crushed petals are swept aside,


and tattered hearts, alone again, creep into corners to hide


 



from Google



Dr. Carl Sagan 1934 – 1996





moonbeams …




struck by moonbeams,

my nights devoid of lifes nectar, hope, dreams,


are at once, emblazoned,

awash in the hues of your smile,


sketched, engraved,

carved, painted in the rainbow shades of your eyes,


your eyes, free,

unfettered, unshackled,

shedding the burdensome weight of lies,


knowing well how mercilessly fickle time flies.,


so allow me to drown,

in the ocean of your eyes,


we’ll fly together,

away from it all,


into your dreamy skies …




Quote from Google

Artwork by Banksy





h o m e . . .





what is home to the vagabond soul,

                   spiralling,

                   splintering,


                   skewered,

                   unwhole.




plodding along,

                 paths of

              broken glass,



comforting,

                   cajoling,

                   assuring

             my tattered soul:


that these desolate moments,

                

                  must


                  also

            

                  pass





Artwork from Google

in these times

Artwork from Google






in these times …




In these times,

when you feel the walls closing in on you,


in these times,

when you feel the world to be hypocritically untrue,


in these times,

when you feel all your lifeblood being sucked out of you.





In these times,

when people seem shallow, heartless too,


in these times,

when you feel yourself a bystander in your own life, not having a clue,


in these times,

when every breath seems a mammoth task, when the air seems sucked out too.




These are those times when nothing offers peace,


when no solace can be found,


when all you feel is dragging yourself along the tear stained ground,


these are those times,

when asphyxiation threatens your soul,


when you scream with all your might, without hearing a sound,


these are those times,

when the world is a blurry haze, with a rancid stench that keeps jabbing you on the rebound.




It is in these moments,

when all hope disappears,


when all is lost in trepidation and gnawing fears,


it is in these moments,

when you plumb the depths of your soul,


when you beseech the Gods above even as your faith may have taken a toll,


it is in these moments,


that you fight to smash the shackles, so you may be free,


it is in these moments,


that we wish to simply,


be …





Artwork from Google

cellophane skies

Artwork from Google




cellophane skies …



 

when cellophane skies fall


swirling down


settling gently

on marshmallow clouds


of chocolate whispers


velveteen murmurs

form crisp peppermint kisses


hazelnutty dreams still burn bright


and

the feeling


feeling roars and rages


and so

may it rage forever on



through rough oncoming tides


always


through ensuing epochs and ages …




Artwork from Google

t h r e a d s

artwork from google





threads …



threads, weaving through splintered nights,


strings, embroidering clouds aflight,


patterns, woven,


hewn, chiselled,

etched, sketched,


wrought, in bowels of fiery pain,


loss, helplessness,

grief, love, aching desire,


forged, burnished bright,


in sweltering dreamy nights,


a moth to a flame,

lapped by tongues of fire,


alone, at last,

to rest,


away from the flimflam,


far, far away from the ceaseless, ravenous game …




artwork ftom google

Artwork from Google




on the cusp …





trawling turquoise seas,

cast adrift,

                   your eyes caressing fitful slumber,

                        whispering paens,

           soothing the ache,


of this weary traveller,

parched,

               thirsty,

                            alone,


cresting waves,

                           treading water,

             hither and thither,


a tattered heart,

                             a wounded soul,

        bathing my being,

                                      nestling,

       in cocooned dreams of your honeydew lips,



seeing,

            feeling,

                         tasting,

                                      your breath,


soaked in visions of you,


the mirage,

                    a crescendo fanning flames of desire,

                                            of love, lust, tremulous fingers,


brushing your hair away,

sipping kisses,


consumed by the furnace,

your body, mine,

                                    entwined,


hungering for your tongue,

fiery,

         insistent,

                         true,



soaring above vagabond skies of blue,

             unshackled at last,


             craving only you …





Artwork from Google

freeversing nonsensical blah

Artwork by Banksy






freeversing nonsensical blah-blah …





so we work and we eat, even though we are still asleep in the bubble of our own conceit, faking crocodile smiles, while breaking up inside, layering on the facade of being alright, while all the while, we tear at our shattering tears carried inside, lost in the crowd of judgement, the cloud of racism – now our default state –

 the naked face of homophobic hate, picking and choosing what and who’s human-rights matter, while holding on tight to religious beliefs, thinking not twice to the “others” culture and faith smash and shatter, and still we go on and on, the trump card of nationalistic jingoistic drivel being spewed, treating those who choose to love differently from us us, baiting those who pray to other gods, those whose colour and culture isn’t “ours”, as we bow down and grovel to wealth and power, as we in front of tv-sets cower, gobbling up the reality shows of the greedy and the rich, even as our reality is our collective dignity rotting in a toxic ditch, yes we are hypocrites one and all, you and me, destroying our environment, cutting downs trees, vomiting sewage into our blue planet’s once pristine seas, all so that we may be, draped in luxuries the 1% tempt us with, poisoning our thoughts that we need gucci and prada and diamonds and gold, while into crushing, gruesome poverty, and in sweatshops our sisters and brothers are sold, human beings all who laugh and cry and who love and need the basics that which for granted we take, as our embraced blindness ensures that for our comforts the “others” must break, the sweat pouring off 15 year olds who stitch together and sew, the clothes we envelope ourselves with feigning not to know, the price, the toll of suffering that rains down everyday, just as we consume and fly buy dubai, never giving a hoot for the oceans of tears that the 99% cry, because of course, we must look better than the rest, we must conform to the illusion that is sold to us, and even as we pray to our gods with humility and faith, we disregard everything ugly, explaining it all away, as the divine powers putting everyone through a test, with no room to breathe or love or think, for we ride around in obscene cars, not caring about the rest of humanity’s scars – as long as it’s a ferrari and as long as it is blood red, as long as we live in mansions of comfort, cloaked in 

the finest and eating haute cuisine in haute couture, we our humanity do freely shed, while we pay our way, our obligatory charity and million dollar philanthropy, we then tear our eyes out to all the blood that must be shed, for our status quo to remain intact, for if we do not see, then no longer can we culpable be, paying our “servants” to pick up after our trophy kids, as we abuse religion to be of all guilt free, while all this time, the “leaders” of this world stoke up fear, that the “others” are at the borders just waiting to snatch all it is that we hold dear, and as all our “leaders” create this fake charade, this glittering parade, this repugnant theme park where we must play, it matters not who they bomb and kill and maim and slay, and yes I agree, that there are many who enslave and transform their countries into a living hell, but we are duped as our “leaders” to those very countries do armaments and bombs and mines and guns do sell, for it is all about the money, be it in tree lined suburbs or in the corridors of power, for it is all about rapacious greed, as we pick and choose convenient verses upon which we feed, freeing ourselves from our callous complicity, just as long as the other half starve across the railway tracks, it is so much more comforting to turn our collective backs, to the overwhelming number of humans who barely survive on a dollar a day, while we build towers of worship in which we pray, not just to god but to towers of tax-exempt loopholes, not just to god but to the machine that makes mincemeat of our brothers and sisters, just as long as we, on the cool spray of water guzzling golf courses drink and play …


… and yes, I too am guilty, 100% so, not caring about the seeds of toxicity that along with you I sow, but again who am I to care, who am I to even spare, a thought for those who do not get their fair share,


just as long as I can eat and ride my chariots laden with riches,


just as long as I can remain in this cocoon of uncaring slumber so deep,


and just as long as I on my soft bed,


in my fancy mansion,


can peacefully sleep …






Artwork by Banksy

Artwork by Banksy







talkin’ midnight ravings blues … … …





why are these lies casually spoken, by mouths torn, bruised, broken,



I am fine



no i am not fine, im as fine as a dung dusted shoe is from a shine, im not fine, im lost, between alluring dreams, and silent screams, sometimes a duet, mostly a cacophony of noise, white and bland and dull, just enough to discern, that humanity is null, humaneness void, and of all conscience, devoid … … …




Artwork by Banksy

let us walk together

Artwork from Google







I told her that I love her.


she smiled.



I vowed to love her forevermore.



she smiled.



I said “let’s walk this earth together, not knowing where the paths lead“.



she smiled,


let’s






Photograph from Google

Artwork from Google




i love her.





1.




she found me, as torrents raged around me,


she found me, when my wings were shattered,


she found me, when i was desolately crawling,


she found me, in the depths of despair,


she found me, trapped in the quagmire,


she found me.




2.




she reached down, her hand extended,


she pulled me out of, the lair of emptiness,


she helped me stand, after my legs had been battered,


she fed me, nourishing my soul,


she led me, into pastures green and alive,


she held me, in the cocoon of her embrace.




3.




i was not worthy, of her delicate touch,


i was not worthy, lying in a discarded alleyway,


i was not worthy, of her healing embrace,


i was not worthy, of her tender love,


i was not worthy then, i am not worthy now,


i had nothing, and still have nothing to give,


still, she loved me, and loves me still.






Artwork from Google

my mother – a true story

Comrade Nelson Mandela’s mother and my mother – demonstrating against the jailing of political prisoners, including Comrade Nelson Mandela and my father – sometime in the mid-1950s or early-1960s


Letter of condolence from President Nelson Mandela to my father on the day my mother passed on in 2008




my mother – a true story …

My mother used tell me this with tears in her eyes.



My mother left South Africa in the 1960’s to join my father who was in political exile at the time in Zambia and Tanzania.



My father was a close comrade and friend of Nelson Mandela and shared the cell next to Mandela during one of their periods of being jailed by the Apartheid security services.



My father later escaped from Marshall Square jail along with his comrades, Abdulhay Jassat, Harold Wolpe, and Arthur Goldreich.



The four escapees were then were spirited out of South Africa as there was a then £2000 reward for them to be captured – dead or alive.



In 1970 my father was deployed by the African National Congress of South Africa (ANC) to India to be its Chief-Representative there.



I was born in New Delhi a couple of years later in 1972.



My mother and father spent two years in Mumbai (then Bombay).



One afternoon my father fell and broke his leg.



My mother knocked on their neighbour’s door of the apartment complex where they lived.



The neighbour was an elderly Punjabi lady.



My mother asked the elderly lady for assistance in calling a doctor to see to my injured father.



A Zoroastrian (Parsi) ‘bone-setter’ was promptly summoned.



My mother and the elderly neighbour got to talking and the lady asked my mother where they were from, as their accents were clearly not local.



My mother told the elderly Punjabi lady that my father worked for the African National Congress of South Africa and had been forced into exile to continue to struggle to raise awareness internationally about the appalling situation in Apartheid South Africa.



My mother also mentioned that they had to leave their two young children (my siblings, whom I met only later in life) behind in South Africa, in the care of grandparents, and that they were now essentially political refugees.



The elderly lady broke down and wept uncontrollably.



She told my mother that she too had to leave their home in Lahore in 1947 and flee to India with only the clothes on their back when the partition of the subcontinent took place and when Pakistan was torn from India and formed, due to narrow religious and sectarian reasons, whose repercussions are felt to this day.



This was also a time when religious violence wreaked havoc, and untold suffering and death for millions of human beings.



The elderly lady then asked my mother what her name was.



‘Zubeida’, but you can call me ‘Zubie’.



The Punjabi woman hugged Zubeida some more, and the two women, seperated by age and geography, by religion and all the things that seek to divide humanity,  wept, for they could understand the pain and trauma of a shared experience.



The elderly Punjabi lady told my mother that she was her ‘sister’ from that day on, and that she too felt the pain of exile after being forced to become refugees, and what being a refugee felt like.



Zubie and her husband Mosie (my father) and the family next door became the closest of friends.



Then came the time for Mosie and Zubie to leave for Delhi where the African National Congress (ANC) office was to be officially opened.



The elderly Punjabi lady and Mosie and Zubie said their goodbyes.



A year or two later, the elderly lady’s daughter Lata married Ravi Sethi and the couple moved to Delhi.



The elderly lady telephoned Zubie and told her that her daughter was coming to Delhi to live there, and that she had told Lata, her daughter that she had a ‘sister’ in Delhi, and that she should not feel alone.



Lata and Ravi Sethi then moved to Delhi in the mid-1970’s.



Lata and Zubie became the closest of friends and that bond stayed true, till the both my mother passed away in 2008.



My father and I still feel a close bond with Lata and Ravi Sethi, and vice versa.



A bond that was forged between Hindu and Muslim and between two countries of South Africa and of India, shattering the barriers of creed and of time.



A bond strong and resilient, forged by the pain and trauma of a shared experience.



That is why I shall never stop believing that hope shines still, for with so much religious bigotry almost consuming our world today, there will always be a woman, somewhere, anywhere, who would take the ‘other’ in as a sister, and as a fellow human being.



And that is why, I believe, that there will always be hope.



Hope in the midst of unbearable pain and hope in the midst of loss and of unspeakable suffering.



Hope.



For we can never give up hope for a better world.



Never!




(For aunty Lata’s late-mother, my mother’s ‘sister’ and who took us all into her heart, and for Lata and Ravi Sethi of Defence Colony, New Delhi, India)




Comrade Nelson Mandela and my father – Johannesburg sometime in the mid-1950s

Comrade President Nelson Mandela and my father – Johannesburg sometime in the 2000s